Meaning of “credit freeze” in the English Dictionary

"credit freeze" in Business English

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credit freezenoun [ C, usually singular ]

uk us

ECONOMICS, FINANCE a situation in which actions by a government force banks to stop lending money:

A sign that the credit freeze may be thawing is a drop of .01% in the interest rate that banks charge to borrow from one another.

US also security freeze FINANCE a service that allows consumers to prevent credit bureaus (= companies that collect and sell people's financial information) from selling the information in their files. Credit freezes are used for preventing identity theft (= the illegal use of another person's personal information):

The new law allows residents to place a credit freeze on their reports.
Keep in mind that a credit freeze will not prevent a thief from misusing your existing credit cards and accounts.

(Definition of “credit freeze” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)